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Humboldt-Universität zu Berlin and the University of São Paulo are developing a strategic partnership

HU scientists and academics are eligible to apply for funding for a joint research project

Universidade de São Paulo

Universidade de São Paulo
Figure: USP/Jorge Maruta

Humboldt-Universität zu Berlin (HU) and the University of São Paulo (USP) are raising their current collaboration to a new level and entering a strategic partnership. Like HU profile partnerships with Princeton University in the USA and the National University of Singapore, this collaboration will see further bilateral development in the areas of research, teaching and governance. This profile partnership with the USP is the third partnership that HU has successfully developed and expanded - with the help of its International Strategy Office. The aim of strategic partnerships, which also form a key part of the International Agenda of the President of HU, is to further boost HU’s international profile in close collaboration with excellent international partners at all levels of the university. Joint calls for proposals are a cornerstone of all profile partnerships. Between 1 December 2015 and 31 March 2016, all HU scientists and academics are eligible to apply for funding for a joint research project.

HU and USP have already collaborated very closely for several years. With immediate effect, they will be investing €100,000 per year to advance further initiatives. For example, there are excellent contacts in the field of metropolitan research. The collaborations between the Brazilian megacity of São Paulo with around 20 million inhabitants (metropolitan region) and the quickly and dynamically developing German capital have proven to be very productive. Scientists from fields such as eco-design, mobility research and urban gardening are currently investigating how the quality of life in large cities can be sustainably improved with long-term effect.

Another part of the two partner universities’ cooperation profile is climate and environmental research. In 2011, physics professors from HU and USP founded the first German-Brazilian graduate school of Dynamical Phenomena in Complex Networks (IRTG 1740), equally funded by Fundação de Amparo à Pesquisa do Estado de São Paulo (FAPESP) and the German Research Foundation (DFG). Researchers in the fields of cultural studies, history, geography and law at both universities are also working in close collaboration – for example, students at HU were able to take a course in Brazilian Law this year.

In future, the profile partnership intends to include double degrees, student conferences and an expanded exchange programme. ‘HU is our benchmark in Germany, and we particularly want to promote young researchers,’ said Prof. Machado Neto, USP’s Provost for International Cooperation. Prof. Jan-Hendrik Olbertz, the president of HU, is also convinced that the global challenges of the present day require global solutions. ‘In USP, we have gained a strong partner with a very similar profile to ours,’ he said.

The strategic development of a profile partnership with one of the best universities in Latin America is also in line with the German federal government’s attempts to intensify activities in science, technology and innovation, as well as collaboration in the environmental and climate fields, as was made clear during the governmental consultation held in August of this year.

Further information resources


Nina Mikolaschek
Humboldt-Universität zu Berlin
International Strategy Office

Tel.: +49 30 2093-20088